That doesn't mean you have to live on the high-protein Atkins diet. But you should make sure that 10 to 35 percent of your total daily calories comes from protein. So if you're on an 1,800-calorie diet, 360 to 630 of those calories should come from lean sources of protein, such as fish, chicken, low-fat cheese, yogurt and legumes. "Aim to have a serving of protein, such as nuts, a small can of tuna, or a piece of low-fat string cheese, at every meal and snack," says Hampl.
If you don't already exercise, you're going to have to start at the beginning and work your way up to more vigorous exercise over time. Your body needs at least a few weeks of simple cardio and strength training to build the foundation for harder, more intense workouts. How much exercise you need is an individual thing, but the programs below can help you get started:
“Women in their 40s come to know that, while socializing with friends is fun and rewarding, partying out late brings more burden than good,” Dr. Rosenfeld says. “They might choose to invite friends over for a quiet night in or spend their nights engaging in self care (reading, relaxing, taking a bath). Either way, they’ll get more sleep, won’t be hungover, and will face the next day energized and refreshed.”
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"When you do resistance training, it causes a degree of microtrauma, or tiny tears, to the muscle tissue," says Dr. Westcott. "Over the next 48 to 72 hours, your body remodels and heals that tissue with amino acids, making it stronger—or, if you're just starting out and need to gain muscle mass, the muscle slowly grows." This throws coals onto your metabolism's calorie-burning fire in two ways: First, the more muscle you build, the more calories you'll burn each day. Second, the rebuilding process itself requires extra energy, boosting your daily calorie burn by 5 to 9%.
You’ve heard it a million times, and you’re going to hear it again: Few things are better for you than constantly staying hydrated. By maintaining a healthy intake—that’s six 8-ounce glasses or more, daily—you’ll see better skin, increased energy, and, yes, augmented blood flow. What’s more, recent research indicates that staying hydrated can cut your risk of developing heart disease by a mind-boggling 60 percent. It might be high-time to pack up and move to The U.S. Cities with the Best Drinking Water.
If you’re an avid reader of Eat This, Not That! You likely know that low-fat foods aren’t the best for neither your waistline nor your health. Many seemingly diet-friendly foods that are labeled low in fat sneak in added sugars to make up for the lack of flavor that results from stripping out the fat. And when it comes to yogurt, which already contains natural sugar in the form of lactose, you definitely don’t want the extra added sweet stuff. Not to mention, fats found in dairy have been shown to keep you satiated and slim down your gut.
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Don’t you hate it when a super-sexy celeb is asked how they do it and the first thing they say is that they don’t exercise? Well, Megan Fox admitted to being just too “lazy” to attempt breaking a sweat. Instead, she downs shots of apple cider vinegar. This quick-fix diet trick, she says, “cleans out your system entirely. It will get rid of, for women who retain water weight from your menstrual cycle and all that, it gets rid of it really fast,"
“The 40s are a prevention decade,” says Larsen. “It’s time to get on track and stay there.” If those babies are now big kids, and you’re juggling commuting and carpools, it’s easy to slip into sedentary habits. “I see a lot of people let themselves go,” says Larson. “I’m honest with my clients. You do not want to go into middle age or menopause overweight. Because you will not know what hit you. Eat well, stay active, and practice healthy habits as a family.”
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Instead, focus on eating lean proteins such as fish, poultry, lean beef and tofu; whole grains, such as brown rice or 100 percent whole-wheat bread; and a wide variety of fresh vegetables. Diligent monitoring of portions may include weighing and measuring servings to make sure you don't overeat. Include some unsaturated fats at meals to support vitamin absorption and satiation; examples include, an ounce of nuts, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1/8 of an avocado or 3 ounces of salmon. For snacks, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, fresh fruit and a handful of almonds are options.
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“Most 40-year-olds can remember the fat-free craze of the ’90s, when Snackwells was king,” says Shapiro. “Well, those days are over.” She advises that you leave the fat-free fake foods behind and enjoy healthy fats that add flavor to your meals and help you fill up with less. “Coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, salmon are rich in vitamins and minerals that will keep you young and fill you up on smaller portions, and therefore fewer calories.” She says.